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OCHIENG: Forget the talk, the media are always a unit

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By PHILIP OCHIENG
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Many Latin nouns borrowed by English end with an UM and are pluralised by replacing the UM with an A.

Thus media is the plural form of the word medium. The Nation newspaper and the Voice of Kenya Radio are two media.

Yet in East Africa’s newspapers and other information media, the plural word media is frequently followed by singular verbs.

The media is “is a claim frequent in our newspapers, especially from the mouths of our politicians. Encouraged by lackadaisical sub-editing, our reporters, feature writers and columnists worsen the situation by allowing the word media and other such plural Euro-Mediterranean nouns to take singular verbs. It is thus that the illiterate locution “the media is…” occurs so frequently in East Africa’s English language information systems.

Such a locution originates, especially, from the torrential mouths of politicians and priests, those who speak as if they have never even heard of the word “comma”.

Yet, no, the word media is plural and, therefore, cannot be followed by the verb “IS” or any other singular verb. Clearly, the correct locution is: “The media are…”, not “ … The media is…”

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

Why? Because media is merely the plural form of the singular Latin noun medium.

Thus, if “the medium is the message”, as one noted Western social commentator has alleged, then we are in deep trouble because, through such a locution, the message must be crooked and unhelpful to any society of human beings.

Yet, quite surely, the medium is essential to the message because, in an increasingly small world, no message can travel without a medium.

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Moreover, contrary to what many Western classrooms allege, the medium is not the message. As the term implies, a medium is only a means by which the real message travels.

That is why a country’s information systems must claim the fullest freedom for themselves.

For, the media are the pathways by which human individuals can pass on essential knowledge and skills to one another to help their society to better its collective future rapidly.

Nevertheless, although primitive human societies never possessed any media comparable to today’s, such specific message systems as they deployed — like drums and horns — served them adequately.

Being social, human beings desperately depend on messages and information from and to one another.

Every member with any knowledge or skill or special experience dutifully passed it on to the collective because the sharing of such intra-specific information and skills is among the essential definitions of humanity.

Such sharing of environmental knowledge and technical skills is clearly what increases a society’s powers over its environmental challenges.

The greater the number of members with such knowledge and skills, the more efficient the society becomes.

I stress it because that should be the content and importance of our own country’s whole information training and education system.

Real knowledge — not the hollow propaganda of the party leader — should be the chief task of any of our country’s education and information instruments.



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Better living conditions for incarcerated children and women

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A day care center officially unveiled by Winnie Guchu, the CAS Ministry of interior and coordination. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

The prisons’ service, in partnership with Faraja Foundation, has rolled out a rehabilitation programme for inmates.
The programme targets enhancing structures at the correctional facilities and making them friendlier to prison staff and inmates.
Jane Kuria, the CEO of Faraja Foundation, says the non-governmental organisation aims for successful reintegration of inmates to the community upon release from prison.
“Faraja Foundation wants to be remembered for supporting former convicts to reintegrate back to the community,” Kuria noted.
She added that many ex-convicts had to start lives afresh after jail terms, hence the need to help them fill the gap in reintegrating with society.
Donating beds and other items was a way of helping inmates survive and get rehabilitated in preparation for their return to society, she added.
The foundation aims to distribute 2,160 beds to the 43 women prisons that hold about 2,615 inmates and 210 children accompanying them.

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Daris Kangi the Officer in charge Embu women’s prison (L) chats with Winnie Guchu, the CAS Ministry of interior and coordination at the newly unveiled daycare at the Prison. Through a partnership with Faraja Foundation, the Prisons service will also distribute 2160 beds to all Women Prisons across the country. May 13, 2021. [Muriithi Mugo,Standard]

Speaking during the unveiling of day-care built by Faraja at Embu Women’s prison, Kuria said children jailed with their mothers did not deserve to undergo hardship.

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David Bett, chair of Faraja Foundation, challenged stakeholders to consider a review of the open-door policy that will also see prison staff benefit more.
Winnie Guchu, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination CAS, said the government had targeted to have day-care centres in all women’s prisons.
“Women convicted with children lacked caretakers of their children at home and this forced them to carry the babies along for the duration of their sentences,” said Ms Guchu.
She said the children were innocent and that they had the right to a conducive environment for growth through the day-care centres.
“These children should have places for entertainment, playing as well as good sleeping areas,” said Guchu.
She unveiled the day-care center and received 160 of 2,160 beds from the Faraja Foundation, destined for distribution in all the 43 women’s prisons countrywide.
Also present was Commissioner of Prisons Wycliffe Ogallo. 

 

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What you need to know about the Juja by-election

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The late Juja MP Francis Waititu aka Wakapee.

The Juja parliamentary seat became vacant after MP Francis Waititu succumbed to brain cancer on February 22, 2021 at MP Shah Hospital.
Waititu was elected on a Jubilee ticket during the 2017 General Election. He garnered 66,190 votes.
According to IEBC, Juja constituency has 114,761 registered voters.
The 2017 General Election had an 80 per cent voter turn-out which saw 91,801 Kenyans casting their votes in the region.  
The by-election
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, voters in the Juja constituency will head to the polls to elect their next member of parliament.
A total of eleven candidates will square it out in the mini poll.

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Jubilee Party By-election Juja MP Nominee Susan Njeri Waititu during certificate issuance at the Party’s Headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Main contenders

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1. Waititu Susan Njeri – Jubilee Party
2. Ndung’u George Koimburi – Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)
Others:
3. Mwangi Kariuki Chege – Independent
4. Kagera Eunice Wanjiru – The New Democrats (TND)
5. Kariuki Joseph Gichui –  Independent
6. Kariuki Rashid Iregi –  Independent
7. Marungo James Kariuki – Independent
8. Mburu John Njoroge – People’s Party of Kenya (PPK)
9. Ndung’u Antony Kirori – Maendeleo Chap Chap Party (MCCP)
10. Ndung’u Kennedy Gachuma – National Liberal Party (NLP)
11. Zulu Julius Thiong’o – Independent

 

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19-year-old boy charged with defiling girl three years younger

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[Courtesy]

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A 19-year-old teenager is in trouble with authorities for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old girl.
Tyson Ongaki has been charged before a Kisumu Chief Magistrate’s court and accused of intentionally defiling the minor on various dates. The crime was allegedly committed in Bomet.
The teenager who appeared before Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora however denied the offence and has been released on a Sh100,000 bond.
The court heard that after committing the offense on diverse dates between March 26, 2021 and May 14, 2021, the teenager moved to Kisumu.
He has also been charged with committing an indecent act with a minor.
An investigating officer handling the matter told the court that the suspect was arrested in Kisumu.
The magistrate directed that the matter be heard on June 15, 2021.

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